When we start to make a difference and live a purpose driven life, something amazing happens. We become happier and more fulfilled. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. It doesn’t have to be anything big like going on a year-long mission trip or setting out to cure the world of cancer. Even small gestures that make a difference can have a big impact on how you feel.
When you help a fellow student pick up a stack of dropped books, run an errand for an elderly neighbor, loan a great book that’s had an impact on your own life to a friend, or remind a fellow grocery shopper of a left bag, it feels good doesn’t it? We like to help out and make a difference. It doesn’t matter how small the act is.
We have been social creatures who rely on each other for millennia. Over the course of that time our bodies and brains have evolved to give us positive rewards for helping out and making a difference. In other words, it feels good to live with purpose and make a difference. It makes us happy.
It’s one of the biggest reasons why living with purpose is such an important goal. At the end of the day, we all just want to be happy, or at the very least happier than we are right now. Looking at popular media and advertising in particular, it seems that the key to happiness is more material goods. We’re made to believe that bigger and more expensive houses and cars, more clothes, shoes, furniture, electronics, workout gear and the likes are what will makes us happy. If only we can buy and accumulate enough “stuff,” we’ll feel better. Sadly, quite the opposite is true. The more you own, the more you have to worry about and take care of, taking away valuable time that you could be spending on something else.
The key to happiness isn’t to own more. It’s to live a purpose driven life and making a difference in the world. It’s one of the reasons why minimalism is becoming so popular. When your life and mind isn’t cluttered with all the extra stuff, you feel calmer, more in control, and have the time and mental energy to figure out your own purpose.
A purpose driven life is one lived within our core values. It caters to our need to cooperate and work together. It strengthens our confidence and makes us feel needed and valuable. All of this leads to an increased feeling of happiness. The moral of the story is stop buying stuff you don’t need, stop chasing that high-paying job that makes you miserable for 60 hours a week and start living your life with purpose.